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City unable to aid port annexation

POULSBO — While the city of Poulsbo has reaped the benefits of annexing the majority of its Urban Growth Area, the Port of Poulsbo has yet to share in the revenue harvest.

In response to the ongoing concerns from the port, Planning Director Barry Berezowsky gave the city council’s public works committee the lowdown on why the group hasn’t been allowed to join in the city’s newfound prosperity.

“I looked up the state regulations concerning annexation,” Berezowsky said. “The port has its own annexation process.”

“They don’t just get to tag along with us,” Councilman Ed Stern added.

In the past the port annexed property along with the city, but that has since changed, said Councilman Mike Regis.

Berezowsky replied that according to chapter 53 of the Revised Code of Washington, the port has to petition the county to annex more property. The petition must include 10 percent of registered voters who voted in the last election before it is brought to the county, he said.

“Ten percent of the voters in an area can initiate it,” Regis said.

Furthermore, the petition must come from the voters in the area, and the city government cannot be involved, Berezowsky said.

“We’ve been telling the port all along that it is their responsibility,” he said. “We are not able to do it for them.”

After listening to Berezowsky’s explanation, Councilman Jeff McGinty asked about property owners who don’t live near the marina and don’t enjoy the benefits of what the port offers.

“To them it’s just another tax,” McGinty said. “There ought to be some basis for them to go for it.”

“It’s their job to sell the idea of expanding the port district,” Berezowsky said of the port.

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